Survey incentives – what you can offer

Are you thinking of deploying a survey and need to offer an incentive for the survey participants? Good. I have been in that situation before and, who knows, maybe my thoughts would give you a clue. So here are the options I have worked out.

Activity vouchers

The first option was some vouchers (a Segway drive or a try dive) that can be gambled among survey participants.

You might want to offer an advertising deal to an activity provider to get vouchers ‚for free‘.  However, the activity is always bound to some location, which restricts the group of people who would likely take part in your survey. This incentive might be just perfect if you are only interested in respondents from some specific location.

Pros. 

  • No extra costs.
  • Little time investment needed.
  • No dependence on cooperation partners.

Contras. 

  • Geographical location is fixed. A small group of people interested. A big group of people would not be reached.

T-shirts

The second option would be some T-shirts with appropriate prints. This option is probably the most expensive one as one T-Shirt costs around 20 Euro. So granting every participant would be very expensive, though gambling 4 T-Shirts among the participants could work. Example of a t-shirt provider would be www.shirtinator.at

Pros. 

  • Supports wide geographical and interest coverage. A big group of people can be reached.
  • No dependence on cooperation partners.

Contras. 

  • Extra costs.
  • Time investment needed.
  • Content development for the T-shirts needed so that they speak for the brand as well.

Cooperation

The third option would be to shift this ‘granting problem’ to the cooperation partners. In this case, other organisations can be asked to share the survey and offer some incentive for participating, e.g. free time providers share and offer activity vouchers. For doing so they would get an access to the survey results or some other valuable service from your organization.

Pros. 

  • No extra costs.
  • Supports wide geographical and interest coverage. A big group of people can be reached.
  • As cooperation partners have direct access to the respondents and know best about their interests – they can offer benefits that suit to the audience the best.

Contras. 

  • Time investment needed.
  • Dependence on cooperation partners and their reliability not to disappoint survey participants.

Amazon voucher

Rambling an amazon voucher seems to be a pretty wide-used incentive as it naturally covers a wide group of potential respondents. However it is being used very often and often enough no voucher is being rambled at all, so that this incentive may become untrustworthy because of being misused.

Pros. 

  • Supports wide geographical and interest coverage. A big group of people can be reached.
  • Little time investment needed.
  • No dependence on cooperation partners.

Contras. 

  • Extra costs.

No incentive

Another option would be not to offer any incentives at all and hope that people are just nice and will answer the questions because of their good will. In this case, the number of questions should be very minimal and it could be a bit entertaining to keep people in a good mood to complete the survey once started.

Pros. 

  • No extra costs.
  • No geographical limit.
  • No dependence on cooperation partners.

Contras. 

  • Time investment needed to create and promote the survey properly, otherwise, it would not work.

At the time, I have deployed my survey I have stuck to the option with no incentive and concentrated on making questions and the survey promotion outstanding. So good luck with your survey and let me know if there are some incentive opportunities I haven’t come up with.

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